The award-winning public gardens in the heart of Gore attract visitors from far and wide.

Gore Gardens

These gardens are home to a number of rare and unusual specimens, and provide a riot of colour from the rhododendrons in spring through to the roses in summer, and the maples in autumn. Gore’s Rhododendron Festival is held each October in the gardens when the stunning annuals are on display. The winter garden is open all year round and there is also an aviary.

No matter the season there is always something to see at the gardens. Spring bulbs are accompanied by camelias, magnolia and enkianthus trees flowering; the peony border is spectacular in November and in summer the roses provide an impressive display.

In the Autumn annuals continue to bloom as the deciduous foliage begins to turn on the maple trees, the enkianthus becomes a bright red and red berries appear on the sorbus trees. Winter features include the witch hazels that bear yellow flowers on bare branches after the yellow autumn foliage drops. And hawthorns (Crataegus) produce red berries through the winter after the white blossom finishes. The conifer border is also a winter attraction.

There is a winter garden complex open all year and an aviary attracts a lot of interest from locals and visitors alike.

The Gore Rhododendron Festival is held in the gardens late October / November and the Christmas in the Park concert follows the Gore Santa Parade in early December.


Bannerman Park

Bannerman Park in the northern part of the town is another outstanding public garden. Featuring a deer park, it is set in a picturesque valley intersected by streams and ponds bordered with bog plants.  
It also has extensive plantings of rhododendrons, conifers, cherry blossoms and magnolias.

Early spring is announced by daffodils, meconopsis, camelias, cherry blossom and magnolias. The rhododendron collection includes large beds of R. yunnanense, R. decorum and R. spinuliferum. These were all grown from seed gathered in the wilds of the Yunnan Provence in China.

In november the streams and ponds are lush with gunneras, hostas, irises and candelabra primulas. Native ferns, astellas and Chatham Isaldn forget-me-nots also edge the streams. Peonies, daylillies and ajuga groundcover add to the colour as summer progresses. The deciduous foliage provides brilliant autumn colour from the weeping maples to the oaks, twisty willows and silver shading the picnic tables. Then winter brings the helibores into flower. Most of the plants in the park named.

A recent addition is the 'daffodil paddock' where specimen deciduous trees are underplanted with donated daffodils, which are able ot be picked by the public in spring.

Below this area is a rhododendron dell, planted with species of rhododendron and acers, and three specimen magnolia campbellii.


Dolamore Park

Located 11km from Gore at the south-west end of the Croydon Bush Scenic Reserve, on the lower slopes of the Hokonui Hills is the beautiful Dolamore Park.

As well as 95 hectares of native podocarp forest, the park includes a range of exotic plantings. These include more than 500 mature Rhododendrons, which make a spectacular show in spring. Take a picnic, and visit the Ian Gilchrist conifer collection and the Bert Newman Arboretum, or go on one of the various walks.